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Oleksa Dovbush - Ukrainian Robin Hood

August 7, 2014

Carpathian mountains, 1960s
'Hutsul Theatre' performing the Arkan dance as part of the 'Dovbush' show.

 

   Oleksa Dovbush is known аs the Ukrainian Robin Hood, he also had a troop of helpers, called opryshky. Together with his brother Ivan he became an outlaw and led a band of 30–50 men. Local peasants admired him. What Dovbush took from the landlords, rentiers, usurers, merchants, nobles, and rich Jews, he gave to the poor. His band was active mostly in the Hutsul region and in Pokutia, but sometimes raided Podilia.

 
   Dovbush and his merry men hid out in the forests. For several years Polish military expeditions of up to 2,000 men led by the crown hetman J. Potocki sought to capture Dovbush, who was finally betrayed by a fellow opryshok. 


   The life of Dovbush left a lasting mark in Ukrainian folklore, literature, music and even cinematograph.

 

   Arkan is often called the dance of opryshky.


Sources: carpathians.eu; encyclopediaofukraine.com; ifteatr.org.ua

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